Fairbanks, AK (NursingSalary.org) – Becky Nadine Hunter, convicted con artist, was ordered to pay back $18,000 in undeserved salary earned while lying about her profession. She obtained several nursing licenses in Alaska by posing as real Registered Nurse from the US and Canada. Using forged credentials, she managed to get a job as a school nurse at University Park School, where she stayed for a few months, and afterwards she joined the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs as a field nurse for around one year.
Hunter was convicted in 2004 for identity theft, mail fraud and several other charges, was put in prison for eight years and ordered to pay $57,000 to several of her victims. She filed an appeal and disputed the judge’s decision to pay back $18,000 in earnings, arguing that the amount should have been written off with the services she delivered that didn’t require a nursing license.
Judge G. Murray Snow disagreed with her claims. “If Hunter had not acted unlawfully, the victims would not have paid any of these wages, or would have paid them for valuable services from a real, qualified nurse,” said Snow. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stated that real nurses are to provide a set of services as a whole and it is impossible for anyone to clearly separate tasks that require a nursing degree from ones an unskilled worker could perform and quantify each of these accordingly.
Her frauds weren’t only limited to the medical field. She forged her credit reports to obtain a house in Fairbanks, AK under a fake name and also tried to pose as a business consultant to secure a $1.8M loan from the Rural Development Administration at the US Department of Agriculture. The series of scams began in 1998 and the FBI quickly picked up her trail. The investigation was stalled due to the terrorist attack on Sept 11th and she was arrested in 2004.
Hunter is currently imprisoned in a low security community correction program in Seattle and will most likely be released on January 14, 2011. Her probation term will be of five years, during which she won’t be allowed to access the Internet or apply for a credit without the probation officer’s consent. She will also be banned from jobs or offices where she would have direct access to money.